Scholarships offer more than financial support
February 14, 2017
Filed under News
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A majority of students at Lane have been successful in their studies, but when it comes to seniors, they have to take it a step further and set themselves up to be successful in college.
From there, most seniors are just now receiving acceptance letters from universities, while a handful of seniors are a step further than that and are already committed to schools where tuition is fully covered for them.
There are organizations and programs around the country that reward students for their hard work through scholarships and financial aid. Posse and Questbridge are two well known programs that Lane seniors have been regularly involved with.
From this year’s Class of 2017, six students were selected for Posse: Malak Afaneh, Sabian Edouard, Rania Ziar, Julie Tran, Abu Qader, and Szymon Wozniak. As for Questbridge, two students were selected: Jorge Sanchez and Kristine Nobel.
According to the Posse website, the Posse foundation has formed a scholarship that covers tuition for all four years of college. Since its beginning in 1989, Posse has granted money to 6,993 high school students who “might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes.” Posse runs on the belief that since our country is a multicultural society, the leaders of our future need to accurately resemble that as well.
To do this, they carefully select talented students from diverse backgrounds, in hope that they develop solutions to ongoing social problems.
“The chances [of receiving Posse] are incredibly low, almost 2 percent, but it makes the reward so much more impressive,” said Malak Afaneh, Div. 768.
Since it is such a selective program, Afaneh said, the application process is very extensive. It all begins in the spring of one’s junior year, by being nominated by a teacher or counselor. The nominee must then answer multiple short essay questions about their academic and extracurricular success.
The process continues with three rounds of in-person interviews that eliminate about one quarter of the nominees per round, Afaneh said. What makes Posse different from other scholarships is these intimate interviews; instead of grades and numbers, they get to know their applicants and choose them based off of their personality and aspirations.
The Posse scholarship also inspires their members into making them successful. The scholarship itself as well as their group of people, or “posse,” for their committed schools will continue to motivate them throughout college.
“Receiving posse was just a blessing,” said Sabian Edouard, Div. 757. “It is great to know that I will be with a strong group of supportive and amazing students that will be with me throughout my college journey.”
Like Posse, Questbridge is another four-year scholarship opportunity; unlike Posse, Questibridge also covers room and board.
Questbridge is a non-profit that awards high achieving students with an educational opportunity at colleges around the United States.
Questbridge and Posse have similar application processes, including multiple essays, teacher recommendations, and a list of academic/extracurricular achievements. Out of nearly 15,000 applicants, less than half of the applicants made it to the finalists. From there, only around 700 people were matched to schools, said Jorge Sanchez, Div. 764.
“Being part of the Questbridge Scholarship network is a great honor,” Sanchez said. “Because I’m in the Questbridge network, I have connections with people all over the country, together in a group of students who dreamed of attending top tier universities.”
Another similarity to Posse is that Questbridge is a community of people within each school that will support their members throughout college and beyond.
“The network opens doors for my future, and gives me opportunities to work with the future innovators, thinkers and leaders of the world. I have a group of people who will continue to look after me and see to it that I set myself up on a path of success,” Sanchez said.
Being rewarded for hard work motivates students to succeed. Posse and Questbridge have done just that to compensate high achievements for students who stand out academically as well as culturally. This reward comes in the form of both financial and emotional support.